Oak Harbor merchants ready for Small Business Saturday shoppers

Shoppers make they way through downtown Oak Harbor on Saturday, Nov. 23. Small Business Saturday is this weekend. - Sara Hansen/Whidbey News-Times
Shoppers make they way through downtown Oak Harbor on Saturday, Nov. 23. Small Business Saturday is this weekend.
— image credit: Sara Hansen/Whidbey News-Times

When looking for holiday gifts this weekend, shoppers can stay close to home.

Small Business Saturday follows the traditional shopping day of Black Friday and island residents are encouraged to participate.

“Everyone should turn out and support small businesses,” said Kathy Reed, Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce executive director.

In 2012, Small Business Saturday shoppers spent $5.5 billion with independent merchants nationwide, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The event is great because it helps people remember to shop small businesses, said Margaret Livermore, Downtown Merchants Association president.

“Go visit them and give them a chance,” she said.

“It costs money to do business here,” said Heather Carder, The Noble Horse owner, “and the money spent goes to the community.”

From employing residents to the taxes that help fund programs and services in the town, shopping locally benefits everyone, Carder said.

Plus, small businesses add character to the town.

“Every business owner has a story and it’s fascinating,” Carder said.

Carder’s passion is horses, which inspired her to open up The Noble Horse. The store is an equine style boutique. She loves the equestrian look and many residents on the island are involved with the horse industry.

To encourage local shopping this year, the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce has a couple programs in place.

One is The Great Wish List Assist. Participants fill out a wish list and leave it at the store. Then, gift givers can go request that list, so they can make sure they get that certain someone exactly what they want for the holidays.

Another is the Shop Local Campaign. For those who shop in the 98277 area code, or with chamber members, the can save receipts dated between Nov. 29 through Dec. 31. Then they can take them to the chamber and, for every $50 spent with a merchant in the area, they receive a ticket to win the Holiday Gift Tree.

The drawing is Jan. 16 at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge.


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